SDSU students protest loss of health benefits

Nearly 400 graduate worker students and their dependents would be affected by these changes.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA – Associate Teachers (TA) at San Diego State University gathered on Wednesday to protest a recent decision by the university to cut health benefits and cut work hours for hundreds of students.

Affected student workers said SDSU plans to reduce teaching assistant employment appointments from 20 hours per week to 16 hours per week and remove them from health insurance plans supported by the ‘university. Nearly 400 graduate worker students and their dependents would be affected by these changes.

“I stepped away from my career in order to pursue this degree with the understanding that I could make the sacrifice as long as my son and I would still be able to access quality health care through my position as a medical assistant. teaching,” said SDSU and TA social work doctoral student Garland Gerber. “My son and I rely on daily medications that we could not afford if SDSU succeeded in suppressing the health benefits of AT.”

More than 800 associate teachers and members of the SDSU community have signed an open letter to SDSU President Adela de la Torre and Dean of Graduate Studies Tracy Love. UAW Local 4123 said it filed an “unfair practice charge” related to the changes with the California Public Employment Relations Board.

“It is heinous that SDSU is choosing to remove graduate student workers and their dependents from health insurance,” said UAW Local 4123 President Lark Winner. “UAW Local 4123 is calling on President de la Torre and Dean Love to rescind this decision.”

SDSU released the following statement:

“The university is implementing a plan during the 2022-2023 academic year to support teaching assistants (TAs) at the master’s and doctoral level who will have teaching responsibilities next year. This plan is designed to achieve several objectives, including the following:

  • Set clear and predictable workload expectations for graduate students while meeting the needs of undergraduate education. Align graduate student compensation with workload and teaching expectations, and specifically with California State University policy.
  • Improve the level of compensation offered to graduate students and support for students as they progress towards a degree.
  • To ensure that students are able to progress well towards a degree in their academic study programs.

It is true that this plan will lead to changes to some educational appointments that were in place last year, but – and this is important: it is not correct to say that the hours of technical assistance are simply reduced . It is true that this plan will result in changes to some teaching appointments that were in place last year, but – and this is important: it is not correct to say that the hours of technical assistance are simply reduced; any changes in hours will be made to ensure that teaching assistant appointments correspond directly to teaching loads and expected teaching effort. Additionally, correctly aligned AT nominations will remain as is.

Time base changes will occur on a case-by-case basis and, more specifically, based on teaching needs and defined teaching tasks agreed to by each college and EA. SDSU has prepared to invest $1.5 million in additional funding to support graduate students over the next academic year and is introducing a state-funded non-salary tuition waiver for qualified graduate students whose AT appointments are at a level of 0.2 and above, which will be determined at the collegiate level. Some also raised questions about access to health insurance. The university has plans underway to help ensure that graduate students have health insurance, which is required for graduate students of SDSU and SDSU Imperial Valley graduate programs.

Some also raised questions about access to health insurance. The university has plans underway to help ensure that graduate students have health insurance, which is required for graduate students of SDSU and SDSU Imperial Valley graduate programs. The university launched the Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP) last year to ensure that all students enrolled in graduate or post-baccalaureate programs are enrolled in a health insurance plan. . Students have options, not a single choice for their health care needs. To support our graduating students, the university has designated specific members of staff to support them and ensure they have cover – and that dependent care needs are also taken care of prior to commencement. of the fall semester. »

WATCH RELATED: ‘We keep going back’ | Protests against Roe’s Supreme Court overturning continue in Escondido (June 25, 2022)

Leave a Comment